Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999



And they give--you know, the smoke for the exhaust smelled so nice. And there was always two soldiers in the--you know, the driver and another soldier. Day and night they were going through the main street. Whenever you got up, the trains were moving day and night. Because the train you know, they used to switch--I don't know what they did when--because if you take Zdolbunov, you can go all the way west to Krakow. When you look on the map you'll see.

Yeah, I see.

To Rovno they used to either--I don't know why they shipped to maybe some other roads were clogged up, so they used to shift them to other railroads. So the only place the trains could go from Rovno is either Zdolbunov or to Sarny. But the trains moved--let me tell you, long trains. And they went through the city like bullets, very fast. And they used to unload uh, for a while, they used to unload all the heavy equipment because Rovno was a military uh, town like you know, the--before the war, there's a garrison that had Polish soldiers there. I don't know for training or recruits or whatever. This was uh, a military camp they had outside the city.

And Rovno was a major city, it was a sizeable...

Well, well, for that region, yes, it was a big city, major. The s...the street--like we were--we lived over there. The main street was here you know, on was ??? ??? or Stalin's, Stalin's Boulevard. That was you know, you got on that road, you could go all the way to Kiev. Or you went west, you get all the way to Lemberg--Lvov. And about that--the other street was named Pon...Poniatowski--was Polish whatever or what. And it went to the railroad. It was parallel to the main street.

Every town had a Poniatowski Street.

Oh, yes, I guess so.


And the street led from the railroad track to the military camp, army camp. And they dug up the Poniatowski all the way to the water level--the tanks you know, they go on those treads.


And they--day and night, they were unloading them. They were going there. God, they ruined that street to bits.

All right. We've jumped from...

From, from Giuszwica to Rovno.

To, to the end of the war.


So we only have to cover the six years of the war.

Well, not exactly. Uh, Giuszwica I consider an exceptional little village. I gave you that--my list of my uh, relatives and my Jewish--fellow Jews and...

??? you gave them ???.



I--every time I count, I revise and make mistakes. But I figured out that out of forty-seven Jews, twenty-three survived.

Wow, from Giuszwica?

From Giuszwica. Twenty-four perished. But if you add down the Oosters you know, it changes the figures.

???. Say it again. Two families.

Two families in our village survived, the complete families--that is, the group or the unit, when the Germans came in and when the Russians came out--when the Germans left, only the two families survived. Complete. The fortunate people--the first one was me, my father and my mother, my brother and I and we survived as a unit. That's what the--that's how the Germans found us and that's how we stayed when they left.

Okay. You very eleven and your brother was six...

Six--seven, yeah.

...when the Germans came in.

The other family with the Yedlins. I never knew Mr. Yedlin, but I knew Mrs. Yedlin. She had three sons and a daughter. As of today, the only living person that remain uh, is alive--I mean, they survived the war as a whole unit.


When the Germans came, they were a unit and when the Germans left, they were. This is like miracle compared--if you search, if you talk to survivors of the Holocaust, your family survived, they ask the question, "How did you do it?" I...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn